Is there any downside to reducing the required R version on a published package?
Some users have asked why I required R ≥ 3.4.1 on two recently published packages (e.g. this issue on GitHub). To be honest, I didn't give much thought to the R version when I wrote the packages –
devtools::create() set up DESCRIPTION with the version I was using, and the advice in R packages to ‘play it safe and require a version greater than or equal to the version you’re currently using’ made sense to me. However, it seems that this is a barrier for some people to use the packages in environments where they don't have control over the installation, such as university computer labs.
I'd appreciate your thoughts on these questions:
- As a general policy, is it better to try to support older versions as much as possible to maximise the audience that can use the package, or to keep up with the latest R version?
- Assuming that a package works on R ≥ 3.1, is there anything to lose by reducing the version requirement?
- Would CRAN have any problems accepting an update that reduced the required R version?